The Five R&D Grand Challenges Plus One
- Arnis Judzis (Schlumberger) | Richard Felder (Consultant) | David Curry (Baker Hughes) | Bernard Seller (Total)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- May 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 34 - 35
- 2011. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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R&D Grand Challenges - This is the first in a series of articles on the great challenges facing the oil and gas industry as outlined by the SPE R&D Committee. Subsequent articles will examine each of the challenges in depth. The R&D Grand Challenges Series, comprising articles published in JPT during 2011 and 2012, is available as a collection on OnePetro (SPE-163061-MS).
The SPE Research and Development (R&D) Committee would like to share with SPE members the results of a recent committee effort to identify the oil and gas industry’s major R&D challenges. Defining these challenges is important because the committee’s primary goal is to encourage R&D and promote dialog between industry and research groups with the aim of matching industry needs with R&D activities. Another key committee goal is to ensure that R&D capabilities and resources are used most effectively by addressing the highest priority E&P business needs.
The R&D challenges comprise five broad upstream business needs:
- Increasing recovery factors
- In-situ molecular manipulation
- Carbon capture and sequestration
- Produced water management
- Higher resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons.
Increasing recovery factors refers to the need for innovative and cost-effective improved and enhanced oil recovery (IOR and EOR) and well geometry solutions for maturing reservoirs. In-situ molecular manipulation concerns the need for subsurface alteration of fluids or matrix to facilitate the production of very heavy oil, sour gas, or shale oil/gas while reducing the environmental footprint of production. Carbon capture and sequestration focuses on the need for effective methods for CO2 storage in subsurface geological structures. Produced water management refers to the challenge of safely and economically processing increasing volumes of produced water from mature reservoirs and the opportunity to serve growing needs for fresh water with this resource. Finally, higher resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons concerns the need for more accurate and complete imaging of hydrocarbons during exploration, appraisal, field development, and production.
Each of the five R&D challenges will be described more completely in upcoming JPT articles and white papers. With these publications, the authors will explain the scope of the industry’s current and future technology needs and discuss examples of emerging technologies or new R&D efforts that may improve the current approaches. Our hope is that the articles will promote further interest and discussion of technology needs within the industry. The white papers will be posted on the SPE website with the goal of acquainting basic science and R&D groups from both inside and outside our industry with our technology needs. The papers should provide researchers with sufficient information to stimulate innovative thoughts and to develop new research project proposals.
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